Elder Abuse

We must stand-up for those who can’t protect themselves

Elder abuse is a horrifying breach of the trust an older adult and his or her loved ones put in a caregiver. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that between 1 and 2 million adults over the age of 65 have been abused, neglected or exploited in some way by a caregiver.

Frighteningly, the same study suggested that only one out of every six incidents is reported, perhaps reflecting the helplessness of some abused elders. If you or someone you care about has been the victim of abuse, contact the our Columbia, SC elder abuse attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm today toll free at (803) 454-1200 or online for a free evaluation of your case.

Elder Abuse Is a Serious Problem

While the majority of elder abuse is physical, it is, unfortunately, not the only type. Other forms of elder abuse include:

  • Emotional and verbal abuse, which can include intentional social isolation, intimidation and threats, as well as insults.
  • Neglect, such as allowing a vulnerable older person to develop bedsores, wander in the streets, go without food and water or otherwise sustain physical harm.
  • Unnecessary over-medication.
  • Financial exploitation, such as forcing or tricking the elder into signing away rights and property.
  • Sexual abuse.
More information on elder abuse can be found at the Web sites for South Carolina Adult Protective Services; South Carolina law on adult protection; The Federal Department of Health and Human Services; and the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Nursing home abuse is a form of elder abuse. It can be especially devastating for the relatives of the elderly person, who often agonize over whether to place their loved one there in the first place. In addition to the shocking display of disregard for the elder’s dignity and rights, an abusive home’s staff has also violated its obligations as a business. They may have violated their own professional obligations as well.

Reporting Elder Abuse in South Carolina

Members of certain professions are obligated by their professional codes of conduct to report South Carolina elder abuse. These professions include most medical and mental health professionals, social and public assistance workers, law enforcement officers and employees of an adult care facility. Those professionals may be even more liable than others for turning a blind eye to known or suspected elder abuse.

Family members who abuse an elder may have committed an even more shocking breach of trust, as they are guilty of intentionally hurting their own loved ones — often their own parent. While caring for an impaired or unreasonable elder can be a frustrating job, there is simply no excuse for expressing that frustration with abuse.

Family members who uncover elder abuse may be reluctant to go to court against a relative, but given the scope of the abuse and the limitations of criminal prosecution, it is often the best choice to help the entire family recover from the effects of the abuse.

An elder abuse lawsuit can help a family recover money stolen from an elder; the often large sums spent on a neglectful or abusive nursing home; medical bills incurred by abuse or neglect; as well as non-economic damages that compensate an abused individual and punish abusers for the pain and suffering caused by their horrifying betrayal of trust.

Get Help From Our South Carolina Elder Abuse Attorneys

Elderly people are entitled to basic safety, respect and dignity. If you or someone you love is a victim of South Carolina elder abuse or nursing home abuse, you have the right to hold the abuser responsible in court.

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